The main problem about space is how much it costs to get there: it’s too expensive! And that’s mainly because launch vehicles are expendable – either entirely, like satellite launchers, or partly, like the space shuttle.
So we need reusable launch vehicles. The trouble is that these will not only reduce the cost of launch – they’ll also put the makers out of business, unless there’s more to launch than just a few satellites a year, as there are today.
Fortunately there’s a market that will generate far more launch business than satellites ever well – passenger travel. Market Research has shown that the idea of space tourism is very very popular. And so, just like aviation, the launch industry is going to find that most of its business will be carrying passengers.
But this idea of Space Tourism isn’t at all familiar to most people, including the space industry, who are used to the idea that space is for research or military activities. Few people are aware of how much work has been done to show that tourism is a realistic goal, and how rapidly this work is now progressing .
Once travel to orbit becomes a commercial service, the question of how to get to space will be mainly one of saving up for a ticket – or looking for work in one of the many space hotels that will be built. Space offers unique pleasures including the view, and zero gravity activities that provide a whole range of things to do on an orbital holiday – including space sports .
Importantly, and contrary to what many people assume, the space agencies are not at all interested in space tourism, and are not trying to bring it about. This is a pity because space activities will never be profitable until tourism services begin, remaining small-scale, expensive, and dependent on taxes which come from you – which would you prefer?